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Cripple Creek Mortuary Books
(Teller County)
Cripple Creek District, Colorado
Note: The date recorded as "burial" is the register date.
Section = Book, Block = page number.
Because so many graves in the Mount Pisgah Cemetery, Cripple Creek, and the Sunnyside Cemetery, Victor, are unmarked, we accepted the Cripple Creek District Museum’s gracious offer to include an index to the Cripple Creek mining district mortuary books it holds. Some of the books’ dates overlap, so they may have been kept by mortuaries in different cities (probably Cripple Creek and Victor).
Books A through H were rescued from a 1940 fire and all covers are charred and the edges of the pages singed. A few page numbers in Book B are burned off. All earlier mortuary books (if any) were lost in the fire.
People recorded in these books either died in the Cripple Creek mining district or were shipped in for burial there. Many were buried in cemeteries throughout the county and others were shipped to other parts of Colorado and the United States. Each person in books A through H is recorded on a single page. The preprinted “Record of Funeral” pages ask for much information, essentially what’s on a death certificate, plus the funeral expenses. Sometimes foreign cities of birth are given and other such interesting items as inquest results. However, the mortuary sometimes recorded little more than the person’s name. If a death date wasn’t given, we used the record date. In many cases, death dates are the same as the record date, so those without death dates probably died on the record date or a day or two before. You’re likely to find more information on pages with a death date.
Books I and J were donated to the museum in 2006 and weren't in the fire that damaged the other books. Book I measures 12 1/3 x 16 1/2 inches. The red leather covers are covered with frayed canvas. The spine reads "Cripple Creek / Victor / 1 / Law's Mortuarys." Each page in Book I contains contains three records; each record asks for a single date, which is in most cases the date of death. We recorded the date under the heading "Register Date," however, because we don't know for sure what that date is. Each record asks for the name of the person and address the expenses were charged to, the name of the deceased, age, place of interment, physician, cause of death, interment-related charges, and record of payment. A few unnumbered pages are pasted in at the end of the book, and those page numbers are noted in brackets: e.g., [601].
Many of the early entries in Book I are duplicates of entries in early books. Some people, in fact, have three entries in these books. The reason for these multiple entries isn't known. If you find a person of interest in more than one mortuary book, be sure to examine all entries: They sometimes have different information.
Book A: 7 Nov 1910 - 17 Aug 1913
Book B: 25 Aug 1913 - 26 May 1916
Book C: Jul 1914 - 6 Nov 1918
Book D: 12 Jan 1916 - 12 Dec 1919
Book E: 5 Nov 1918 - 21 Nov 1923
Book F: 10 Nov 1923 - 8 Oct 1929
Book G: 12 Nov 1928 - 4 Sep 1936
Book H: 15 Oct 1927 - 29 Aug 1936
Book I: 12 Nov 1928 - 5 Jan 1966
Book J: 16 Feb 1966 - 1 Nov 1974
Note: Pages 1 and 2 are missing from Book A; the names were recovered from the index. And Book F, pages 223-274, are duplicated in Book G, pages 1-52.
Dates and burial numbers suggest Books A and B are consecutive, as are C, E, F, and G. None of the books except two identifies the undertaker’s name, but internal evidence indicates Thompson-Claypool Undertaking Co., of Cripple Creek was one of the early undertakers who kept these books, as were Schmalzried Parlors and D.F. Law, which had parlors in Cripple Creek and Victor. Book H, page 34, says Kenneth E. Barnhill Mortuary took over the business November 1, 1928. Book I is labeled "Law's Mortuarys."
This index was transcribed from handwritten records. We did our best to interpret the writing and record the names as they appear in the books, but errors may have occurred. It’s always best to view and verify the originals yourself. Undoubtedly, some duplicate entries spell the name differently.
You can view the mortuary books or request copies of pages (for a nominal fee) from:
Cripple Creek District Museum
P.O. Box 1210 (5th and Bennett Ave.)
Cripple Creek, CO 80813
Phone: (719) 689-9540 and (719) 689-2634
If you’re planning to visit the museum, call first to determine hours.